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Work at Home for More Employee Productivity

Thursday, February 16, 2012 by Slaughter Development

Employee productivity is always a hot topic. A new study covers the impact that working from home has on employee productivity—and it might surprise you.

The analysis was covered in a recent article from Slate:

Within a few weeks, the performance of the telecommuting group started to pull away from their cubicle-bound counterparts. Over the duration of the experiment, home workers answered 15 percent more calls, partly because each hour was 4 percent more productive, and partly because home office employees spent 11 percent more time answering phone calls.

Employees themselves liked the arrangement better, making it look like a win-win for the company. The home-work group reported less “work exhaustion,” a more positive attitude towards their jobs, and were nearly 50 percent less likely to say they were planning to quit at the end of the eight months.

If you’re a worker who is currently chained to their desk, you’re likely to find yourself agreeing with this data. After all, employee productivity is tied to satisfaction. It’s really no surprise that people who are self-motivated enjoy the freedom and opportunity to work wherever and/or whenever they want.

If you’ve been reading The Methodology Blog for a long time, you know we’ve talked about the benefits of telecommuting for ages. But what’s interesting about this study is not just the evidence that supports working from home, but the emphasis on understanding which tasks are best suited for which work environments. The article continues:

Not every task is particularly well-suited to the home office. A Results-Only Work Environment only makes sense for the subset of relatively solitary tasks where results can easily be tracked and measured—like answering customer calls at a Chinese travel agency—and those where stuff can get done with relatively little face-to-face interaction.

Even companies that support work-from-home situations may be missing the point. It’s not just about who is “allowed” to be a teleworker, but who makes the decisions about work. Until individual employees are empowered to make their own choices, a home office can be just as stifling as a cubicle.

Interested in making a change at your organization? Contact the team at Slaughter Development. We’d love to help you discover ways to work smarter and help you increase employee productivity and satisfaction—wherever those employees work.


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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Inefficiency Far from Home - The names might sound unfamiliar, but a recent story in a Pakistan’s newspaper reports on inefficiencies in local community boards that might well be in your own hometown. Read on »
Dear Micromanaged Employee - A noted writer and speaker has a message to the micromanagers of the world. That message is: “stop it.”
Read on »
Reading Employee Email - A few weeks ago, I was casually discussing the topic of corporate email privacy with another professional. Although the standard policy on the topic is fairly well-known, I was shocked to learn how his company managed individual email accounts. Read on »
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